Legendary historian and documentarian James Burke famously said, “You can only know where you’re going if you know where you’ve been.” He was referring to history, but this quote just as easily applies to marketing. Many marketers that are eager to improve blindly embark on a marketing plan without understanding their current state of affairs.
Creating a marketing plan without conducting a proper digital marketing audit can lead to loss. Most of the marketers downplay performing an in-depth audit because it can be time consuming and an intimidating process. After being closely involved with your marketing on a daily basis usually makes it hard to have an objective idea of your position. However, here are some tips to assist you objectively examine your online presence across various platforms for you to optimize your efforts using the latest tactics and excellent practices.
Big Picture Questions
Before attempting to address specific areas for enhancement, it is essential to take a zoomed out view of your whole strategy. Concentrating on incremental advancement or compliance with best practices will be useless if your whole marketing plan does not focus on the right direction.
The question to be asked on this stage can reveal the reality about your business digital marketing strategy that may have previously hidden. These questions include:
- What is the present state of your business?
- How is your marketing strategy affecting the performance of your business?
- What business goals are you expecting from a marketing overhaul?
- What and how would you define success of your business?
- How would digital marketing contribute to that success?
In order to position yourself for success, you have to define it. Understanding your current state is essential because the baseline that will be used to value all future efforts.
The next step is have an idea of how marketing will affect your base line. This is the aim of digital marketing strategy. Comprehending how digital marketing will ideally interface with your business will be essential evaluating your current strategy, as well as planning for the future.
SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) is a simple and effective way of understanding your business form both an external and internal point of view. After defining your criteria of success and how your digital marketing strategy might assist you improve these goals, then you can evaluate each and every component of your business’s marketing in regards to one of these four categories.
Strengths and weaknesses: These are the internal factors within your marketing strategy. It consider the current competencies or capabilities of your team, the quality of communication amongst your team, or the volume and accuracy of marketing data you are gathering.
Opportunities and threats: These are the external factors affecting your digital marketing strategy. It may involve analyzing market research and determining if the channels you are currently using are losing their effectiveness in driving traffic. Consider the strength of your competitors and plan how to outsmart them.
While undertaking a SWOT analysis, remember that the business insights from the previous step. All these terms are comparative judgements and they are based on the ability of your business to employ marketing strategies to meet business goals.
Once you are through with SWOT analysis, you can now undertake a more granular analysis of the various components of your digital marketing mix.
Search Engine Optimization Audit
Search engines lie at the heart of digital marketing. This is because they are the path that lead people to service and products online. Fleishman-Hillard’s report indicated that 89% of consumers turned to Bing, Google and other search engine to purchase goods and services.
Optimizing a website for search is a lengthy, intricate and in-depth process. This makes auditing of your digital marketing difficult. However, there several steps for evaluating where your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy lies and how particular factors that affect search ranking might be enhanced.
Competitive analysis: Identify where your strength lies. Take stock of the keywords, links and content currently present on your website and see which of them is working for your ranking. Give priority to those that work for your ranking and pursue building them out further.
Technical issues: Determine if there are weaknesses stemming from flaws in your website’s design or programming. Identify all the links that lead to nowhere, content without links and outdated or poorly written content and remedy them.
On-Page Optimization: One you have identified strategies that work and fixed any glaring errors on your website, it is now time to optimize this content. Conduct an investigation of the best practice. To ensure that your site rank well, use meta-data, title tags and keywords correctly.
Link building: Link building is used to assist seize any opportunity that may be present for your site. Produce content on-site that you are certain your audience will share or/and seek write-ups on other relevant, well-trafficked pages.
Social Media Marketing Audit
Search is the main way people hunt for specific information about products, but social media is the main way people form an impression about an organization or brand. Besides, social media plays a role in how search engines rank sites. However, most brands do not take social media as seriously as they should. Most brands have forgotten their social accounts while some have accounts on different platforms that appear like they belong to different brands. A social audit will address all those issues.
Engagement evaluation: To determine which post had the highest engagement, take a stock of all your current social media content across different channels. This data will highlight your social media strength and show which type of posts appeals to your target audience.
Profile standardization: Determine where your social media presence have been non-existent, inconsistent or lacking to deliver the intended message. Additionally, determine your abilities and current resources to determine the number of channel your team can be able to handle competently.
Best practices and trends: Once you have identified the channels you will focus on and the type of posts that works for you, research best practices and industry trends for these channels thoroughly. Prepare a social media checklist to be shared among your team members.
Schedule creation: Incorporate the findings form the audit into a detailed and comprehensive social calendar. Every channel should have its own schedule, but they should all interrelate to one another.
While the prospect of digital marketing audit might be overwhelming, the ultimate way you can enhance your digital marketing is to know your current position. By following these guidelines, you will be able to determine your digital marketing efforts and plan for the future.